Albania: Detention and ill-treatment of government opponents - the elections of May 1996
There have been frequent reports of the arrest and ill-treatment of opposition activists and supporters in connection with national elections in May 1996, in which the ruling party, the Democratic Party, won an overwhelming majority. On 28 May, opposition parties attempted to hold a protest demonstration in Tirana's main square. The authorities banned the demonstration which was dispersed violently by police forces. Amnesty International notes that this violence was an extreme example of a pattern of official persecution of opposition leaders and supporters and of the independent or opposition press which has been manifest in Albania in recent years and which grew worse in the run-up to the May 1996 elections and their immediate aftermath.